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No Help for Navalny's Party to Run in Russian Elections

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Russia's Central Election Commission (CEC) will not help Alexei Navalny's Party of Progress take part in upcoming parliamentary elections, the Interfax news agency reported Wednesday.

The opposition party sent a letter to the head of the CEC, Ella Pamfilova, asking her permission to run in the September vote.

Russian laws state that a party has to be registered by the Justice Ministry to be able to run in the vote. The ministry revoked registration for Navalny's Party of Progress in 2015 due to an alleged failure to fulfil some of the requirements concerning the registration of political parties.

Pamfilova refused the party's request, saying the group were not allowed to "try to disrupt the law using illegal methods."

Speaking to reporters, she said that elections in Russia were held in accordance with the law and that the CEC would not use its powers to secure the privileged participation of any party in the elections.

“The party is demanding that others follow laws but at the same time it is are suggesting to break them when it is in its interests,” Pamfilova said.

“No one, including officials in high positions, can ignore the law or change it using administrative actions. Not the president, not the government, not the CEC – no one.”

The letter comes after the Party of Progress decided to abandon a pre-election coalition with Mikhail Kasyanov's registered PARNAS Party. The coalition broke down due to differences in opinion on how to order the list of candidates within the parties.

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